|Travelers overlook checking spare tire|
|Saturday, May 11, 2013 12:29 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
DELPHOS — Before taking off on a day trip, weekend excursion or extended vacation with a destination including sand, sun and an ocean breeze, make sure to have routine and summer maintenance performed on the vehicle being driven, prepare for prices at the pump and map out a detailed driving route.
Public Relations Manager for AAA Ohio Auto Club Kimberly Schwind said that many people don’t realize that preventative vehicle maintenance goes hand-in-hand with safety. It can also end up saving them tons of money down the road.
“A small problem today can turn into a much larger, more expensive problem, if left unresolved,” Schwind explained.
First and foremost, travelers need to inspect all five tires. AAA reports that one of the most frequently overlooked items on a vehicle is the spare tire. Check the tread depth and pressure of your tires and whether or not there is uneven wear. If possible, pack a real spare. If a tire blows out in the middle of nowhere, there may be quite a distance to drive on the spare.
Service Manager at Delpha Chevrolet Buick Bill Schulte says that it is important to maintain the proper tire pressure for safety reasons, as well as to save money.
“Tires inflated too high cause uneven wear; too low decreases fuel mileage,” Schulte explained. “Either scenario can cause the vehicle to pull one way or the other.”
Properly-inflated tires can improve fuel economy by up to three percent, which is as much as 12 cents per gallon, according to the Department of Energy. Yet, 85 percent of drivers do not know how to properly inflate their tires. Motorists should fill tires to the level indicated in the vehicle owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door jamb.
Before hitting the road, take the vehicle in for an oil change, proper filling of windshield washer fluid and coolant/antifreeze and an inspection of wiper blades and battery. Summer heat breaks down car batteries internally and accelerates the rate of corrosion on the vehicle’s battery terminals. Both conditions can lead to insufficient electrical power and leave a motorist stranded without warning.
Schulte suggests owners have their vehicles inspected and take advantage of a summer maintenance service. The service should include inspection of the cooling system; radiator, belts and hoses, coolant, cooling fans, water pump, and heater core; and critical driving components, tie rod ends, steering equipment, ball joints, refrigerant level, and compressor clutch.
Pack an emergency kit that includes: jumper cables, flashlight, first aid, flares, water, nonperishable food, extra washer fluid, basic tools, and bottled water.
When loading the vehicle for a trip, remember to keep the driver’s visibility clear, bring less than is ‘necessary’ and keep snack items, cameras, and the emergency kit on top of all the cargo for easy access.
During the planning of a trip close to home or an extended vacation, check out AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner. It provides travelers with comprehensive driving directions, maps, hotel and auto repair shop locations, and is available in-store or online.
The AAA Mobile app for iPhone and Android-compatible devices has everything a motorist needs at their fingertips. The app includes; auto repair locator, gas station locations, updated gas price information, hotel booking, interactive maps and directions, battery replacement quotes, electric vehicle charging station locations as well as member-exclusive benefits including roadside assistance and discounts.
|Last Updated on Saturday, May 11, 2013 12:43 AM|